Public Defender’s Statement on Goga Razmadze Case

Considering the high public interest, the Public Defender of Georgia echoes the decision made regarding Goga Razmadze’s application.

As is already known to the public, according to the decision of October 30, 2023, Goga Razmadze's request regarding the determination of the fact of discrimination against him by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia was not satisfied and the proceedings were terminated.

The Public Defender emphatically points out that during the study of the application, the Public Defender’s Office fully acted in accordance with legislation and the 9-year uniform practice that has been established in the Office since the establishment of the equality mechanism.

In the mentioned case, the Public Defender's Office relied on the same standard of proof that has been used in many other cases over the years. The decision explained that the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which had the burden of proof (and not the applicant) to prove the absence of the fact of harassment, presented arguments disproving each circumstance provided by the applicant.

At the same time, the Public Defender reminds the public that when examining cases or making decisions, the Office acts in accordance with the Organic Law of Georgia on the Public Defender of Georgia, the Law of Georgia on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination and a number of international standards. Thus, during the consideration of the case, the Office studied all the important factual circumstances presented by the applicant and necessary for the purpose of examining the fact of discrimination, and implemented all the necessary and relevant measures provided for by the law. In addition, the Public Defender’s Office considered the need for seeking additional explanations and interviewing witnesses, however, no such need has been identified.

Additionally, in the legal part of the decision, the Public Defender evaluated the international and local standards of harassment as a form of discrimination; In addition, a separate discussion was devoted to the standards of police officer's freedom of expression, analysis of the practice of the European Court and the European Code of Police Ethics.

The Public Defender respects the freedom of expression of any person, including critical attitude towards the activities of the Office, however, as an objective and impartial constitutional body, it is independent in its assessments and makes decisions only on the basis of the analysis of facts and relevant evidence.

Regarding the issue of making the decision fully public, considering that the Public Defender respects and protects the applicant's personal data, we consider it inappropriate to publish the full text.

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